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bucatini bolognese
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5 from 1 vote

Easy Bucatini Bolognese with Garlic Herb Whipped Ricotta 

Bucatini Bolognese is one of my favorite hearty italian pasta dinners. It’s rich and savory and full of flavor - and you can make this robust sauce in less than an hour. I like to top it with herby whipped ricotta but that is totally optional!
Prep Time15 mins
Course: Main Course, pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bolognese, bucatini, italian, meat sauce, red sauce

Ingredients

For the Bolognese

  • 1 lb bucatini pasta
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 3 large carrots diced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 lb ground beef grassfed is best
  • cup tomato paste
  • cup red wine
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream optional but delicious
  • ½ cup grated parmesan divided
  • salt and pepper

For the Ricotta

  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 2 tbsp basil minced
  • 2 tbsp parsley minced
  • ¼ tsp garlic paste
  • ½ lemon zest
  • ½ lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

For the Bolognese

  • Cook bucatini pasta according to the directions until it’s al dente. Strain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, add onion, carrots, olive oil, ¼ tsp salt and red pepper flakes to a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat.
  • Cook this mixture for 5-10 minutes or until the veggies are beginning to caramelize. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Using a spatula, push the veggies to the side and add the meat and another ¼ tsp salt. Let the meat cook until it’s beginning to brown and caramelize. Use spatula to break it up and mix it into vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring halfway.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir it into the mixture. Cook this for 2-3 minutes or until the paste starts to darken.
  • Pour the wine over the meat mixture to delgaze the pan. Using the wooden spatula, scrape up all the little stuck-on bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Now add the can of crushed tomatoes, another 1.4 tsp salt and stir. Put the lid on and turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes while making sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Once the sauce is finished, add the butter, the cream if you'd like, and half of the grated parmesan and stir. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Turn the heat to low and toss in the pasta. Serve with remaining parmesan cheese and the herby whipped ricotta (from below) on top.

For the Herby Whipped Ricotta

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes before using.

Notes

HOW TO MAKE IT WITHOUT BEEF
To skip the beef, you could easily replace it with 1 pound of ground pork, turkey, or chicken. The recipe will stay exactly the same.
However if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll want to leave out the meat completely. Instead of adding the beef, you’ll want to add 3 cups of finely diced mushrooms with an extra 3 tbsp of olive oil. Before adding the tomato paste, you’ll just want to make sure that the mushrooms are caramelized and cooked through before doing so.